Folks who prefer their long-distance communications to be of the face-to-face variety have a new option for multi-person pow-wows, as Skype announced on Monday that group video calling is now a free feature on the desktop version of the Windows Skype client, Macs, and the Xbox One, with support for additional platforms coming in the future. Previously, at least one caller needed an $8.99 per month Skype Premium subscription to organize a group video chat.
It has been a long time coming. Today Skype finally made group video calling a free feature for users on the Mac, Windows, and Xbox One. iOS is left out of the initial mix, but Skype says that it will be adding free group video to more platforms in the future. Group video calling was previously part of Skype’s $8.99 per month Premium subscription. Now up to 10 people can video chat with each other at no charge. Google Hangouts has allowed free group video calling since it was introduced, so it’s nice to see Skype catch up with the times. Whether group video works reliably in Skype remains to be seen.